What if a company were so treasured and trusted that people literally took to the streets - by the thousands - to save it? That company is Market Basket, a popular New England supermarket chain.After long-time CEO Arthur T. Demoulas was ousted by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, the company's managers and rank-and-file workers struck back. Risking their own livelihoods to restore the job of their beloved boss they walked out, but they didn't walk far. At huge protest rallies, they were joined by loyal customers - leaving stores empty. Suppliers and vendors stopped deliveries - rendering shelves bare. Politicians were forced to take sides. The national media and experts were stunned by the unprecedented defense of an executive. All openly challenged the Market Basket board of directors to make things right. And, in the end, they prevailed.
With its arresting firsthand accounts from the streets and executive suites, We Are Market Basket is as inspiring as it is instructive. What is it about Market Basket and its leader that provokes such ferocious loyalty? How does a company spread across three states maintain a culture that embraces everyone - from cashier to customer - as family? Can a company really become an industry leader by prioritizing stakeholders over shareholders?
Set against a backdrop of bad blood and corporate greed, We Are Market Basket is, above all, a page-turner that chronicles the epic rise, fall, and redemption of this iconic and uniquely American company.
Daniel Korschun is an Assistant Professor at Drexel University's LeBow College of Business and a Fellow at the Center for Corporate Reputation Management. Grant Welker covered the Market Basket story from the start as a reporter for the Lowell Sun.
CONTENTS Acknowledgments ix Prologue xii PART O N E 1 1. "You've Never Met a Family Like This" 5 2. "They Caught the Supermarket Revolution" 13 3. "Learn the Business, Young Man" 29 PART TWO 41 4. "People First, Groceries Second" 43 5. "Blood Makes You Related, But Loyalty Makes You Family" 55 6. "You Do Whatever It Takes to Get the Job Done" 69 7. "We're Not Normal" 79 PART T H R E E 89 8. "A Predetermined Assault" 91 9. "All In" 103 10. "Shut It Down" 117 11. "Stick Your Neck Out" 125 12. "Market Basket Strong" 137 13. "The Final Straw" 149 14. "Hostages" 159 15. "I Am in Awe of What You Have All Accomplished" 169 PART FOUR 177 16. Challenges Ahead 181 17. Lessons 189 Epilogue 201 Authors' Note 205 Appendices 207 Appendix A: Arthur T. Spars with Arthur S. and Gerrard Levins in 2012 207 Appendix B: Arthur S. Spars with William Shea at Board Meeting in 2003 209 Appendix C: More Sparring at Board Meeting, June 25, 2003 211 Appendix D: Who Is Market Basket? 214 Notes 215 Index 225